#28 – October 2014

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The Discussion: Enjoying dark skies at the National Trust, Paul’s astronomy outreach endeavours with Sirius Astronomy and predictions for the upcoming AstroCamp.

The Tour: In this special episode, Ralph and Paul bring record from the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford. We tour this world leading centre of excellence for low cost satellite design and innovation and explain the sights and work being conducted in the Ground Station and laboratories from where 30 satellites have already been launched and many more are currently in design.

The News: In the news we have the latest on the European Space Agency’s ambitious Rosetta spacecraft as it circularises its orbit around Comet Churyumov Gerasimenko; Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission to return pristine asteroid samples; watching asteroids colliding 1,000 light years away and yet another reminder of the asteroid lottery we’re playing.

The 5 Minute Concept: Recording from the UK centre of satellite design and construction, what else should Paul be talking about this month, but the physics and history of satellites.

The Interview: This month the seat is filled by the Surrey Space Centre’s Head of the Planetary Environments Group, Professor Craig Underwood as we discuss satellite innovation, the UK space industry and the future of space exploration.

Q&A: Listeners’ questions via email, Facebook & Twitter take us on a journey into the astronomy issues that have always plagued our understanding or stretched our credulity. This month Ralph & Paul answer:

  • I understand Jupiter has no solid mass inside, so how come it’s classed as a planet and stays planet shaped? Mike Joy from Wales via Facebook
  • Can you guys successfully explain the proton-proton chain in under 20 seconds?? Vicky Dews, @Woozydewsy via Twitter

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